Australian Swimming Championships Success

Our Kinross Wolaroi Swimming Squad had a highly successful 2021 campaign at the Australian Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast during the Easter school holidays, finishing with three Olympic hopefuls.

The Australian Age Championships commenced on 5 April and also incorporated the Multi Class championships. It was an anxious time for the team in the lead up, with the threat of border closures and lock downs.

Some team members made the difficult decision to withdraw from the championships due to the uncertainty. However a team of six from Kinross Wolaroi Swim Club were still able to attend. Hugh Gillham, Kyla Brown, Collette Lyons, Zac Lewis and Oscar McLaughlin competed at the Age/Multi Class Championships. Oliver McLaughlin competed a week later at the Opens. The team achieved some notable results.


Hugh Gillham, Year 12

Hugh Gillham, who for the first time swam in the Paralympic class turned a few heads finishing with 2 golds, a silver and a bronze at the end of his Australian Age Swimming Championships campaign. H.G. also swam under the Olympic qualifying time three times over the course of the week in the 100m Butterfly. An amazing effort and Olympic opportunities are a possibility for this talented young man.


Hugh's medals included:
- 17-18 years 50m Free Multi Class-Gold
- 17-18 years 100m Fly Multi Class-Silver 
- 17-18 years 50m Fly Multi Class-Silver 
- 16-18 years 400m Free Multi Class-Silver 
- 16-18 years 200m IM Multi Class Class Gold 

Hugh is pictured with Coach Kim Taylor. Hugh experienced horrendous weather conditions competing in the outdoor pool where he battled torrential wind and rain, yet managed to achieve some amazing results. 








Kyla Brown, Year 9

- 14 years, 100m Breaststroke finals, 9th place 

Kyla swam an amazing Personal Best of 1.17.45 in the heats to move up from being seeded 47th with a time of 1.20.38. In the finals she swam yet another Personal Best to finish 9th in the nation in a time of 1.17.11. Kyla also finished 35th in the heats of 200m breaststroke the following day.

Mixed Medley Relay Team

KWS also entered a mixed medley relay team consisting of Oscar McLaughlin (backstroke), Kyla Brown (breaststroke), Zac Lewis (Butterfly) and Collette Lyons (free). In an amazing effort, Collette swam in the relay,  despite having an injury that unfortunately had prevented her competing in her individual events during the week. Great swims from all four saw them finishing in a very respectable time of 2.04.42. Zac flew especially to the Gold Coast in order to swim at his fourth - and last ever - Age Nationals event as he is 17 and next year he will move to the Opens. 


The following week, from 14 April, Swim Team Captain Oliver McLaughlin, 18, arrived to compete in the Opens championships in three events; the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke. During the heats of these events he had the excitement of competing against some huge names in swimming, Olympians such as Mitch Larkin, Bradley Woodward and Travis Mahoney.
Ollie won a silver medal in the 100m backstroke 18-19 age division with a new personal best of 56.71 seconds. He narrowly missed out on a bronze in the 50m backstroke and came seventh in the 200m backstroke. Ollie swam finals in his age group (18/19 years) and his times placed him 10th overall in Australia, "not bad for a boy from the bush" according to Kinross Wolaroi's Head Coach, Kim Taylor. Ollie is pictured below with his silver medal.



Oliver McLaughlin and Collette Lyons will both compete at the Olympic trials in Adelaide in June this year, along with Hugh Gillham who is expected to be trialing for the Paralympics. Oliver qualified for two events at the trials but made the tough decision that he will only compete in the 100m backstroke because he is currently completing Year 12.

Well done to all of our swimmers for a standout season, and a huge thank you to our coaches and supporters for all that they do to help our students achieve their dreams.